Pandemic Pondering #508

©Ricky Fenn Mazie Shalders

Last week a favourite piece of Plymouth Street Art got a sad addition and at 11 this morning there will be a Silence held across the country to remember and reflect on the events of last Thursday.

©Hutong

Yesterday evening nature also marked some time in Plymouth. A dense sea fog briefly cloaked the city making everything grey and a little more silent.

Overlooking Plymouth from Down Thomas. ©Kevin Lindsey

Pandemic Pondering #364

What a lot of miles we’ve walked this weekend. Sometimes on very familiar routes and other times on city roads hardly ever visited before. Always trying to avoid large numbers of people. There wasn’t really a plan blogwise, but as often happens a subject revealed itself. Random signs we’ve never noticed before.

So far this one resists quick research. Writing this blog will possibly inspire somone with a comment that points me in the right direction.The sign is near Millbay Dock in Plymouth. Named Millbay because tidal Mills were established here in the 12th century. Millbay is currently best known for being a ferry port. Not too far away we found St Demetrios & St Nikitas Greek Orthodox Church.

A sign that should inspire us to revisit the classroom , a coincidence as we were urged, yesterday, to visit our friends in Katerini and Upper Apple Tree Village as soon as travel is permitted.
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2862607387315359

Closer towards the city centre this Street art is new to us.

Plymouth is having a surge of thought provoking street art. Another new to us piece in the city centre are these two happy birds.

© None Here
https://www.stevemccrackenart.com/product/noneherenow2/

I’ve written about the work of None Here before, typically the transient nature of street art requires people to photograph and record it for many reasons. It can become a target for thieves and disappear overnight or become part of something bigger as others add to it or obliterate parts of the original work.

This sign is far from new but I’ve never noticed it before.

I’ve often pondered on how the Plymouth of the future will reconcile the true history of Francis Drake now he has toppled from the romantic and always false notion that he was a romantic and heroic buccaneer. Pirate and slave trader are much more difficult subjects to consider. Some others from the time can be more easily removed from the modern city by renaming streets or buildings but Francis Drakes name is all over the city like a rash.

Also all over the city like a rash are the links to the Armed Services. The last new sign is a tiny sticker.

Have a fabulous first Monday of Spring/Autumn depending on your hemisphere.

Pandemic Pondering #301

A little bit of Plymouth Street Art. I’m not sure what it means but curiosity aside,it is a lovely thing to look at. I was looking for something blue to illustrate this blog. Then this jaunty seagull took me on an unexpected journey.

Here we are in the second weekend of the third lockdown. Worse than that this is the weekend before Blue Monday . Said to be the worst day of the year. So called, because of dark evenings, poor weather, festive joy draining away,  and bills arriving by post.

I’m not sure any media source will be brave enough to joke about Blue Monday this year. January can be very flat even without a worldwide pandemic but glum is the word that springs to mind when thinking about January 2021.

Searching for something blue to illustrate “blue Monday’ brought me blogging luck.

The Street Art seagull brightens up the street and puzzles with his enigmatic message. He most certainly is not glum, almost the reverse. Then Google steps in.                      

‘None Here’ is the tag of Exeter based artist. Steve McCracken.

©Steve McCraken

https://www.stevemccrackenart.com/artist-statement/

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/solving-mystery-breathtaking-artwork-appearing-4213302?utm_source=sharebar&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sharebar

Follow the two links above to understand the artist and the enigmatic bird. The seagull does exactly what the artist desires. Perfect Street Art.

Pandemic Pondering#152

The Art Group prompt word takes @theoldmortuary to some interesting places. Who doesn’t love a landscape?

My thing for years has been abstract landscapes. For this blog I plunged into my ideas and inspiration file.

I am intrigued and galvanized by nature’s ability to always overwhelm the constructs that man creates or just change the way things look. In doing so there is often unexpected beauty.

The dunes suffocating a beach hut at Wells-next-the-sea, Norfolk.

Here is an urban reclamation. Tarmac in Dulwich Park being broken up by tree roots and covered by autumn leaves and other natural detritus.

@theoldmortuary. The Smith Family Collection.

Nature is not exactly reclaiming this wall, but the Landscape Street Art is so famous as a site for Instagrammers that it is being worn away by sweaty hands and carefully posed leaning. This picture was taken some time after it was painted but before it became insanely popular as an Instagram background.

Alex Croft painted this as a commission for Goods of Desire. Countless Instagram photos feature this slowly fading wall.

©Instagram

Closer to home our century plus garden wall looked like a hedge as ivy took control.

It took quite a bit of effort to bring it back to wall status.

Next up 2 beaches slowly consuming man made structures.

And finally some box fresh images taken on Monday evenings combined swim and dog walk adventure.

A landscape shaped by the sea. Even if you visit this beach every day it will always be different.

Harlyn Bay, Cornwall

Pandemic Pondering #147

Metaphors is the Art Group Prompt- word today.

This image is intended as a metaphor.

I painted it as a metaphor for the passing of time. The androgynous figure is shaped out of pools of colour and might not exist if the pools flowed differently. The face appears to be dissociated.

I love a linguistic metaphor and used wisely they are a dynamic tool.

In difficult conversations they can soften an awkwardness and mitigate against defensive or aggressive responses which can harm useful communication. They can be more easily understood,sometimes, than the actual subject matter.

In art I’m never quite so sure. Is the image below metaphor or satire. I believe it is both.

So given that I am on stronger ground linguistically I can share my love of mixed metaphors and bad metaphors.

Rich pickings come from Sports commentary and historic terms for sex.

Mixed.

If you can’t stand the heat of the dressing room, get out of the kitchen.

Terry Venables

Michael Owen has the legs of a salmon

Craig Brown

This has been our Achilles heel which has been stabbing us in the back all season.

David O’Leary

They’ve put all their eggs in one basket and it’s misfired.

Paul Merson.

Bad

Grope for Trout in a Peculiar River.

Take a turn at Bushy Park.

Bringing an al dente noodle to the Spaghetti House.

So that’s clear then, Metaphors should be handled with care.

Pandemic Pondering #58

Deja vu.

©Wikipedia

Hours, days, weeks and now months have blurred boundaries. Just about everything we’ve done this week has been done several times in the last couple of months.

Saturdays have a new shape, for three weeks we have been able to get our favourite Hutong Coffee. Following that we do a favourite dog walk but we’ve done todays so many times I won’t bore you with the details. But everything on our walk looks a little bit brighter. Lockdown has given people the chance to get all sorts of jobs done and everywhere looks a little bit twinklier.

The best example of twinkle was this motorbike which had been ridden into town and was still so pretty. Presumably it has had a lot of attention in the last few weeks.

Plymouth has also gained some new street art and not a moment too soon.

We also found this picturesque wasteland.

And finally our used compostable coffee cups crossed the Tamar to our compost heap.

Not a bad Saturday.